University of Rochester Requires COVID-19 Vaccine Booster for All Students

University of Rochester Booster Shots

Due to the threat of the Omicron variant and the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Rochester region, the University of Rochester (UR) has decided to require all students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster when eligible as a condition for enrollment at the university.

“Research shows vaccination remains the single most important tool for preventing severe COVID illness, and the CDC notes that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against omicron and other variants,” university’s guidance for spring 2022 reads, signed by UR President Sarah Manglesdorf and Interim Provost Sarah Peyre.

The guidance points out that eligible students should get their booster before returning to campus to continue the spring semester, while those who have received the initial vaccination but are not eligible to get the booster yet, should do so within 30 days of eligibility.

The same notes that students who have previously received approved exemptions for medical or religious reasons will continue to be exempt.

At the same time, students planning to pursue their higher studies abroad during spring 2022 have been advised to get their booster before departure if they have become eligible.

“Starting in the summer of 2022, there will be no COVID-19 vaccine exemptions for University students studying abroad. Given the rapidly changing landscape for entry and continued residence in various countries, all students studying abroad in spring 2022 are strongly recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to departure,” UR notes.

Meanwhile, UR students residing on campus, including winter stay students, must show a negative COVID-19 test when returning to campus by January 13, which requirement applies to all undergraduate and graduate students who reside on all campuses, including first-time students.

Students will adhere to the requirement if they manage to get a COVID-19 test 24-48 hours before arriving on campus. 

The university will publish guidance in the new year to inform winter stay students, those who have become eligible to receive their booster but are not able to get it before arriving on campus during the spring semester as well as students who become eligible to get a booster in spring, on how to get the Pfizer booster on campus.

According to the guidance, international students can also benefit from this option because Pfizer is the only booster approved to those who were vaccinated outside the United States and who received all vaccine doses of the World Health Organization Emergency Use List COVID-19 vaccine not approved by FDA.

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